Illinois’ Governor Rod Blagojevich signed legislation requiring state agencies to purchase Flexible Fuel Vehicles that can run on E-85, and diesel-powered vehicles that run on B-5. The bill also encourages state agencies to purchase fuel-efficient hybrid vehicles.
“This bill will help further the progress we’ve made in recent years in building one of the largest green fleets in the nation,” said Gov. Blagojevich. “By using biofuels to fuel state cars and trucks, we’re helping the environment and supporting our farmers.”
The state will purchase E-85 flex fueled or biodiesel compatible vehicles and hybrids whenever they are available to fit the business use; only certain exemptions will be granted for special agency needs.
HB 4137 is intended to further increase environmental performance of the state fleet; in recent years, the state’s fleet managers have purchased FFVs “whenever possible” as a result of Governor Blagojevich’s Executive Order 7 (2004). Between April 2005, when the state started tracking use of renewable fuels, and August 2006:
- State agencies used 122,441 gallons of E-85, with a monthly average of more than 8,100 gallons.
- State agencies used 906,341 gallons of biodiesel fuel, or more than 60,000 gallons per month.
Since the Executive Order was signed, state government has prioritized the purchase of FFVs:
- More than 400 of the 700 passenger vehicles state agencies purchased in FY06 were FFVs.
- As a result, 1,944 vehicles -? a full 16 percent of the State’s 12,100-vehicle fleet -? can now run on E-85.
The bill also allows consumers to purchase large alternative fuel vehicles out of state, if not available in-state, and be able to qualify for a rebate program administered by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. The rebate program offers up to $4,000 per vehicle to convert a conventional vehicle to a vehicle using alternative fuels, such as natural gas or propane. Current law requires that vehicles over 8,500 pounds must be purchased in Illinois to be eligible.